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Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape, A

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Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape, A

Published 1958

Introducing the giant four-track tape cartridge, an obsolete consumer recording format that survived for eight years.

Run time 14:54
Producer Handy (Jam) Organization
Sponsor RCA Victor, Radio and Victrola Division
Audio/Visual Sd, C


fade in to dramatically lit plastic model of "Nipper," the RCA dog
A film demonstrating the advantages of the new tape cartridge, its precision, compact qualities, and cost efficiency, in comparison to albums and tape reels, which recorded music at a quicker rate.
animation sequence demonstrating advantage of four track tapes over two track tapes
Nice Shots:
A couple with girl in front of RCA Victor

Closeup of tape being flipped over by woman, displaying the scale of these giant cassettes
Girl in puffy dress is given permission by idealistic couple (man is holding a pipe) to turn the tape over, followed by shots of the adults looking extremely pleased
"most exciting home entertainment center for the entire family".

Ceramic Nipper (the RCA dog, corporate logo) and phonograph
Woman gets up from chair and changes tape on her stereo tape player.
Introduction and CU of first tape cartridge. First cassette cartridge.
CU 45 rpm records stacked on record changer.
CU reel to reel tape recorder.
CU counter numbers changing on tape recorder.
CU stereo cabinet
Family listens to new stereo system
CU cartridge on tape deck.
Little girl changes cartridge on a tape player.
Family on couch.

Ken Smith sez: RCA introduces the tape cassette, years ahead of its time. What makes this film enjoyable is that the cassettes are pastel pink and as big as a brick. A companion film to Living Stereo (they were shot at the same time), this is more interesting because of its bizarre product. Some references to 8-tracks and auto-reverse.



Reviewer: KB2ZGN - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 21, 2008
Subject: WOW
My father had 2 of these recorders. I remember him using them to tape off of TV, the flight of the first American in space - Alan Shepard, and later John Glenn. He got them used from someone, and he was always working on them to keep at least one of them working. At some point he gave up and removed the tape from the carts and loaded them onto reels so they could be played on a stereo reel to reel deck. Favorite of these was the sound track to "Victory at Sea" Problems aside, they were still really cool, and way ahead of their time. He might even still have them in some forgotten corner.
Reviewer: ERD - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 25, 2006
Subject: Historically informative
An enjoyable vintage film on stero phonos and tape rercorders.I remember getting my first reel to reel tape recorder back in 1960, I do not think the RCA tape cartridge sold well. The disadvantage of this cassette was that you could not splice the tape for editing purposes.
I had finally gotten my parents to buy a monaural hifi in 1957, and then a stereo came out a couple of years later.
Reviewer: left wing films - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 5, 2005
Subject: I bought one on a flee market
the other reviews say it all I only
this is a must see on the Archive!
Reviewer: op712 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 8, 2004
Subject: Recording tape history
RCA does it again .. in 1958! Invents a product that the mass media could easily use. Also RCA did it again as well..introduced 4trk recordings with this cartridge in this same time frame, which blended over to the reel as the 4-track recorded tape. Can you imagine, in comparison of our world of today with mini-cassettes, DV cameras, celphones, laptops, PDA's-any electronic device that we have our bodies and brains attached to so we can survive and think better, in seeing an inexperienced individual trying to thread a reel machine of some complexity and do it correctly in one pass? RCA was thinking, with this cartridge machine for the easiness of use for the ones who wants it simple and easy to use. KUDOS to this invention, which eventually, Philips/Norelco took this design, made it smaller, used better oxide based tape for higher quality recording and playback and flooded the masses with this little invention called the Compact 1964. (Spuzz needs to start reading history books and to begin to appreciate history, then he can make comments that support these items/events that happened in the past more better..)
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 28, 2004
Subject: Them sure are big cassettes!
Another nice intro to a piece of obscure technology! Think cassettes, now blow them up 10x larger, and you'll get an idea of hwo BIG these things were. Heck, they were bigger then VHS cassetes! (but thankfully they're thinner). Much pomp and circumstance is shown of how much of an improvement this is.. It's longer timewise then records! it's self reversing! it's a little more expensive then a record! These didn't last TOO long, and it's easy to see why.
This is also paired with "Living Stereo" (which I've reviewed already)
Reviewer: trafalgar - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 28, 2004
Subject: Sweet machines
Who knew they had already invented auto-reverse in 1958? I didn't have a cassette player with that feature until the 80's...
By the way, the first half of this is identical to another film here, "Living Stereo".
Reviewer: - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 20, 2002
Subject: Beautiful presentation of "stereo" & precursor of cassettes
This download contains two RCA promo films. The first describes the new "stereo" record technology in terms anyone can understand. Beautifully done -- great for people under 25 to see what "records" were all about :-) Catch a glimpse of vacuum tubes, too. The second film shows the direct precursor of cassette tapes (that became popular in 1967-1969). Every feature now common on cassettes and players appears here -- RCA apparently had figured it out in 1959! On both films, listen carefully for the terms and buzz words that described both the "hot" and the seasoned products of the day -- references to 78s and even 16 2/3 RPM record formats, reel-to-reel tape features, the term "victorola" -- what a fabulous trip down technology's memory lane, in living color :-) And notice the very different image of family manners and relationships implied by the actors. America was a very different place in the 1950s. Observe also how the advertising described features and benefits rather than appealing primarily to the viewer's wanting to achieve a personal image or group identity. So much to think about in a couple of vintage infomercials :-)
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